Darren Stein's comedy is about American prom queen society and is a sour
reflection on what can go wrong with a practical joke. On the morning of
her seventeenth birthday, Liz is kidnapped by her three friends (with friends
like this who needs enemas) who plan to torture the birthday girl with a
breakfast of pancakes. They tie her up and throw her in the trunk of a car.
In the process Liz has been gagged - literally, with a Jawbreaker and duct
tape. When the girls open the trunk, they find Liz dead. The character Zach
(Ethan Embrey) is Reagan High School's most prominent actor, so he's called
a "fag" by the "in crowd." Speaking of Reagan, did they ever find his brain?
Zach becomes a catalyst for change when he falls for Julie (recently ostracised
from the Flawless Four), because she threatens to tell the authorities the
truth behind the death of Liz.
I have to admit to a yawning disinterest in the content of U.S.A. prom films,
if they all vanished without trace the world would be a better place.
Scores are eventually settled, but not at the police department or even in
the principal's office. The world of Jawbreaker begins and ends at school,
and the prom is such a handy device for exacting revenge (yawn, yawn, oh
my, I didn't see that one coming
The soundtrack for the film is a brave attempt by Stephen Endelman to capture
the girly, sassy atmosphere required and I suppose as a composer, he has
achieved the objectives commissioned for the film.
For me the mixture of sugary, tinkly musical allegories with the pop beat
of MTV culture and some nods at Hitchcock and Twilight Zone-type motifs made
my teeth itch.
The vocals of "ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah
.ahhhh" on the notes A,B,A,B,A,B and
G sharp are "featured" in several tracks and I now have those notes blocked
out on my guitar so I never, never, never, ever hear them ever again. This
is not bothering me at all, I can review objectively, honest. Look out! Here's
a two-note piano "scary bit" (goodness somebody's gonna get squished) that
has me so scared I nearly blinked.
HOWEVER! Come on, wake up, pay attention! I did like the version of "Young
at Heart" with a slow rap drum part, strummed guitar and flute. It was an
entirely inappropriate arrangement of course but it is quirky and "different".
Connie Petruk's vocal is cutesy in a subtly malevolent sort of way and she
carried the tune with a softness and innocence that is engaging.
Overall as a soundtrack it gets the job done but I would have preferred to
listen to it with tape over my ears
.(now that sounds like an idea for